I was still working on a way to use up the major purple (red) cabbage my P.S. (Princely Spouse) brought home. I’d made a lavender colored soup that had great flavors in spite of being odd colored. This time I wanted a lot of beef and some carrots along with the cabbage. I was looking to make a deconstructed cabbage roll.
I started with a large nonstick skillet and sautéed onions until they began to brown around the edges. It brings out their sweetness. I dumped them into the crockpot and returned the skillet to the heat.
Next I melted a stick of butter and added the cabbage to the skillet. I wanted to wilt it in butter a bit before adding it to the crockpot. As I finished chopping the cabbage I realized this was a LOT of chopped cabbage, so I added a second stick of butter to the skillet. Oh my! I salted the cabbage and let it cook until it was all a bit wilted, then poured it into the crockpot.
I belatedly thought to add chopped celery to the dish so I added a drizzle of oil to the skillet and the chopped celery. While it cooked for a few minutes I sliced a few handfuls of carrots and added them to the skillet. You could just sauté the celery and carrots with the onions but I left it in the order I cooked them in. I added salt and about 2 cups of beef broth and brought it to a boil before adding it to the crockpot as well.
I stirred the crockpot that I’d set on high and put the lid on it. I wasn’t done adding ingredients but it could get a head start in heating.
Into the skillet went 2# of ground beef, flattened so it could get some good brown caramelization on it. I let it fry until it was somewhat browned on the bottom then used my smasher to break it into smaller pieces. I added 6 ounces of tomato paste and a cup of frozen roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden. You could add diced tomatoes as a substituted.
When the meat and tomatoes were mixed well and heated through, I poured the mixture into my crockpot. I used a large spoon to stir well. I decided to add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic to my stewy mixture and stirred well again. I should have added the garlic to the meat mixture and fixed my mistake in the recipe below. But this crockpot was already smelling delicious!
I left the heat on high for 2 hours then turned it to low for 2 hours. The carrots were done and it was ready to devour. You could turn it to keep warm if you need more time before dinner is served.
I’d made white rice on the side and spooned rice into the bowls then ladled in the stew. It was so delicious! The cabbage flavor wasn’t overpowering; you could taste the beef and tomatoes along with the other flavors. The rice soaked up some of the juices and it made the stew heartier.
We loved the colorful cabbage stew and had leftovers to enjoy for several more meals. The next time I make it perhaps I’ll add some diced sweet bell peppers to give it a slight change of flavors. You can’t have too many vegetables in a stew, can you? Or maybe add some black beans, chili powder and cumin to make it more of a chili. My P.S. walked in the door that evening and thought I was making chili! Chili with cabbage might be a good idea!
Red Cabbage Crockpot Stew
1 cup onion; diced
drizzle of oil
2 stick of butter (one cup)
10-12 cups red cabbage; roughly chopped into 1″ squares
1/2 cup celery; chopped
3 cups carrots; sliced
drizzle of oil
2 cups beef broth
2# ground beef
6 ounce can tomato paste
1 cup roasted cherry tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Cooked white rice to serve with stew (optional)
Sauté onion in a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil until browned around the edges. Add to crockpot.
Set crockpot on high heat setting.
Melt 2 sticks (one cup) of butter in the large skillet and add the cabbage. Cook for 7-8 minutes until mostly wilted, stirring occasionally. Pour into crockpot and stir.
Sauté celery and carrots until celery is translucent in another drizzle of oil. Add beef broth and simmer for a minute or two until it is heated through. Pour into crockpot, stir, add lid to crockpot.
Fry ground beef in skillet until browned on the bottom. Break into smaller pieces and fry until no longer pink.
Add tomato paste, cherry tomatoes and minced garlic to skillet, stir and heat through. Pour into crockpot and stir well. Place lid on crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 more hours.
Serve hot with white rice if desired.